World Cup ads - courage above all else • Orchid

World Cup ads - courage above all else

World Cup ads - courage above all else

The World Cup is now over for another four years, and football fans everywhere are having to find something else to talk about. We’ll change the subject too, but not just yet.

It goes without saying that the World Cup requires courageous players. But what about courageous advertisers?

At ORCHID, we’ve been impressed by two campaigns in particular. The first is one you might not expect.

When World Cup passion turns sour

Tender is UK charity that works to prevent domestic abuse and “promote healthy relationships based on equality and respect.” In stark contrast to the range of star-studded feel-good fests put out by the leading global brands for the occasion, Tender released a short video online highlighting the ‘dark side’ of World Cup celebrations/commiserations.

The video, which has now gone viral, is cleverly titled ‘Woman’s reaction to England World Cup knockout’ – indicative of funny content. However, it ends on a shockingly noteworthy statistic: domestic violence rises 38% in England when the country gets knocked out of the World Cup.

This low-cost but high-impact campaign, bolstered by hashtag #StandUpWorldCup, has attracted significant attention online, and has performed brilliantly in terms of raising awareness – both for the charity and, most importantly, the cause.

When ‘risking everything’ really pays off

The other World Cup promotion that really caught our attention was Nike’s ‘Risk everything’ campaign. With a budget no doubt a zillion times bigger than Tender’s (rough estimation), this ad definitely falls into the “star-studded feed-good fest” category that I referred to earlier.

But these ads are so much more than that. They’re just awesome, and bound to make even the most “meh, football’s alright” viewers feel shivers of excitement.

We won’t go into too much detail on the storylines (you can watch them both for yourself below), but the first ad, entitled ‘Winner Stays On’, involves a group of young lads playing football and gradually transforming into some of the world’s biggest football stars. It’s dramatic, exciting, and manages to weave in a large dose of product placement without us minding in the slightest.

The second ad, ‘The Last Game’, is even more striking. Again it stars several football giants, but this time they’re in animated form. We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s so entertaining and well-made it’s like a Pixar short on steroids.

The full-length versions of the ads are around 5 minutes each, but this is certainly no bad thing. They don’t even feel like adverts, just genuinely brilliant content that audiences can’t help but love and share and watch repeatedly. Well done, Nike.